Scrub Love ‘Detoxifying Activated Charcoal Body Scrub’ Review

I was lucky enough to get two different Scrub Love samples in beauty boxes this month, a coconut based one in the Look Fantastic box and this charcoal scrub in May’s Glossybox. Glossies knew from last months box that this scrub would be coming in May, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it ever since. I’ve decided to review both Scrub Love products separately as they look a little bit different to each other, so I’ll review the Look Fantastic sample later in the month. My Glossybox card says about this scrub:

“Scrub Love is the scrubbiest body scrub of them all. The charcoal-based body exfoliator – charcoal is one of the most ancient detoxing ingredients – absorbs the day-to-day pollutants and impurities that sit on the skin. It’s 100% natural, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, as well as being free from pesky plastic micro-beads that can pollute our waters. Consider this your detox without the self restraint.”

This is a 100g sample of the charcoal scrub in “Cucumber & Bamboo”. The charcoal scrubs are also available in “Avacado & Aloe Vera” and “Prickly Pear”. Full size the scrub sells in bags of 200g and is widely available to buy online for £13.95, including Assuming my sample is based on a similar pricing structure, my sample is worth £6.98. 

I adore the packaging of this scrub – it’s simple but vibrant and eyecatching. The scrub is foil wrapped, and has a pattern of black and white diagonal lines. All of the information is in white text on a black background, which reminds me a little of writing on a chalk board. The front of the packet has the brand, name and variety along with some headline benefits. The back of the scrub boasts that they don’t test on animals, that there are no microbeads and no parabens. The company contact details and place of manufacture (China) are also on the back, along with social media contacts @scrublove for Instagram selfies! The scrub also describes itself, it says:

“The detox daddy. It’ll absorb all of those pollutants and impurities that build up on your skin from day to day living and leave you squeaky clean. Sometimes we all need a fresh start babe. Active Carbon from Bamboo detox’s, purifies & absorbs excess oils, for squeaky clean skin. Kaolin Clay will help absorb excess oils & impurities from your skin. Cucumber Seed Oil & Argan Oil overflowing with pore detoxifying vitamin B for clear skin. Bamboo Extract rich in silica, will help your skin absorb essential vitamins & minerals.”

Ingredients: powdered charcoal (bamboo), bambusa arundinacea (banslochan) powder, cucumis sativus (cucumber) oil, polenta, kaolinite (white clay), linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed oil, decyl glucoside, bambusa vulgaris (Bamboo) extract, parfum, tocopherol, lactic acid. 

To open the packaging there are little tear marks at the side, or you can cut along the top. The packaging has a resealable strip to keep the scrub fresh between uses. I was expecting a pitch black scrub but it looks more grey, and smells like ones of the worst things I’ve ever smelled. Think baby sick. For anyone lucky enough not to have smelt baby sick before it’s a mixture of vomit and dairy that’s on the turn. I kid you not, this stuff is repulsive to the point where I don’t want to use it, but where’s the adventure in that?! 

I scoop my hand inside the bag and scoop out a little pile of scrub. It is a dry scrub but it does hold itself together like kinetic sand, which makes it a little easier to work with. It looks like it’s going to be a good scrub too, I can see some different sized solid particles in the mixture that look like they will give me excellent exfoliation. 

Using the flat of my hand, I rub the scrub over my skin, applying a pressure I feel comfortable with. I was right about my earlier observations, the scrub is quite coarse and I can feel it really scrubbing my skin as I rub. I adore a really rough scrub, but if you don’t or if you aren’t sure be gentle to start with – you can always rub more vigorously if you want to. 

When you’ve covered your body/limb/whichever bit of you that you want to exfoliate in the scrub you can simply rinse. This scrub is super messy (which is actually quite fun) but don’t be tempted to use it on a floor, I think it would be really difficult to be neat with this. I applied it in the bath so I could just rise it off with the shower afterwards, nice and easy. 

After rinsing, the scrub leaves a grey chalky residue on the skin which looks grubby. This residue can quickly be removed by washing off with shower gel, and the great news is the shower gel gets rid of the awful smell too. Yes, it smells throughout the whole application. 

After the shower my skin isn’t just smooth, but I seem to have achieved a new level of smoothness that I haven’t reached on my skin for a long time, if ever. My skin doesn’t only seem like it’s been exfoliated, but it looks and feels like it’s had a deep clean. I’m amazed at how effective this scrub is, and how quickly I was able to achieve this amazing result.

Not all my favourite beauty products are a treat to use, wax and tweezers being two examples. I would put this charcoal Scrub Love into this category – it has given me truly incredible results but it smells so bad it’s not a pleasure to use. I’m definitely going to finish using this sample, and I loved the results so much that I may buy the full size version, but before I do I want to try the other variety of Scrub Love I’ve recieved from the Look Fantastic box to see if it can give me the same results but maybe smell a little better. 

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